Another way to look at health is to look at the level of energy. It is important to examine how abundant the qi is. The abundance of qi is like a summary indicator for all sets of parameters. Where there is abundant qi, there is abundant life, and abundant health.
We are not able to quantify qi — we have to rely on judging the quality of its manifestations.
One of the most important ways of improving health, and enhancing the flow of qi, is exercise. There is a Chinese saying, “Flowing water does not stagnate,” which is often taken to describe the value of activity in keeping the body healthy.
When people get sick, or cannot perform adequately, it is often not because their muscles are weak or their bodies aren’t shapely. Sickness generally comes from dysfunction of internal organ systems: kidney failure, heart failure, and so on. The Western approach to health is very different from that in Asia. It is important to remember that modern medicine is at most a century or so old — unlike the medical traditions of China and India, which go back for thousands of years.
Western medicine has done great things in eradicating bacterial and viral diseases, and in developing sophisticated diagnostic tools, but in dealing with functional health problems and diseases it is still in its early stages.
Traditional medicine in Asia has long recognized the complex energy system of the body, and has developed a sophisticated theory to explain it. Many of the traditional exercises in Asia address the issue of strengthening internal organs and balancing energy, rather than focusing on the external musculature.
One of the basic principles that can guide us is that the natural way is the simple way. People often tend look for answers outside themselves, and from exotic places. Relying on exercise machines and gadgets, letting them tell us how much work we are doing, how fast we are walking, and how much we are lifting, is a manifestation of this tendency.
Any ideal exercise or health-promotion method should be natural and simple, possible to implement in your daily life, without much extra effort. It should not require a special place, or special tools or gadgets. There are many ordinary, easy ways to promote health that do not require joining a gym or health club.
Here are some exercises to enhance the flow of Qi and improve your health: